Beauty now: Spritz, spray and go

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This product image released by Vaseline shows Vaseline’s new spray body lotion line, from left, aloe, cocoa butter and oat extract. AP/Vaseline

NEW YORK — Beauty consumers seem to like the delivery of their products with the touch of a button, and brands are obliging them with more spray-on items.

What had been the domain of sunscreen also now belongs to moisturizers, shampoo and cosmetics: It’s spray, spritz and go.

“Sprays in beauty can be a game-changer,” says Marie Claire beauty and health director Erin Flaherty. She predicts people will use these products more frequently, more regularly and maybe share with other family members.

That’s the plan, says Ricardo Pimenta, global vice president for Vaseline and St. Ives. Vaseline’s new spray body lotion is getting a lot of buzz.

“It all started with an observation that a lot of people in the U.S. have lotion at home but don’t use it. They’re what we call ‘light users,'” he says. “We found out the reason they weren’t using it that often is not because they didn’t know that it was good for their skin, but it was too much work and it took too long.”

He adds: “We had to innovate, and a spray seemed very simple, almost obvious, and we said, ‘Why haven’t we done this before?’ The answer is it was difficult.”

There were challenges with viscosity, absorption, working with the compressed air that propels the spray and the ergonomics of the can.

“None of them is too complicated separately, but putting them together was,” Pimenta says.

It was all worth the effort, says Flaherty.

Think of all the days you skipped lotion because you were pressed for time, or how you ran out of the house with your hair wet because you didn’t have time to blow-dry. A spray dry shampoo solves that problem.

And there are all the kids who were never fully covered in sunscreen because they couldn’t sit still long enough for a head-to-toe application, Flaherty says. Those kids could probably use a good dose of moisturizer, too.

Makeup brand Urban Decay recently launched its B-6 Complexion Prep Spray, which is a fine-mist liquid vitamin mattifier that aims to minimize pores and reduce redness. It was designed as a unisex product because, says Urban Decay co-founder Wende Zomnir, men like sprays, too.

Zomnir says the spray has a much lighter touch than anyone’s fingers could hope to have so you don’t feel like you’re adding a layer of product. “We couldn’t ask people to put another layer of stuff on their faces. … A few years ago, a product like this was droplets landing on your face. Now, you don’t feel it going on.”

There’s also the no-yuck factor. With a spray, Flaherty says her fingers aren’t sticky, greasy or dirty. “I wouldn’t use a self-tanner because of what it did to your hands, but now that you can get a spray tan, it’s totally different.”

She says she doesn’t think it’s a fad. It’s not just cool, it’s a time-saving problem solver — and those are the keepers. She predicts sprays to come in more color cosmetics and facial care.

What’s Zomnir working on next in her spray lineup? A spray wrinkle remover. “That would be a dream.”

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